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Rural Pilot 1: County Monaghan (Ireland)

Rural district description


County Monaghan is a mainly rural county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is in the province of Ulster. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county. According to the 2016 census, the county had a population of 61,386 people. It is the fifth smallest of the Irish Republic’s 26 counties in area (1,295 sq. km) and fourth smallest by population, with only 37% of the County’s population living within an urban area.

In recent years, the county has become more diverse and is now home to a significant population of newly arrived immigrants. Some have fled from wars and persecution, but most arrived to pursue a better life in Ireland and to work, live and study in the county. In 2016, new communities of non-Irish nationals now comprise 11% (6,122) of the population of the county.


Challenge description


Limited access to adequately paid job opportunities for people living in rural areas, lack of viable opportunities to repurpose land or farm assets, low numbers of business realising the potential for business expansion and job creation in the rapidly expanding environmental products and services sector across Europe, Inability to fully exploit the untapped potential of the roll out of broadband across rural County Monaghan for provision of services and employment. The Urban & Rural divide has widened in recent decades.

We will explore the potential for greater linkages between Urban and Rural areas in our territory.

Monaghan Farm

Anticipated result


Uncover pathways for enterprise development in the green economy with potential for job creation through the establishment of green businesses, startups, and social enterprises focused on environmental products and services.

  1. Identifying emerging sectors and innovative practices in the green economy, the research could support the creation of better-paid jobs with higher skills requirements, fostering economic growth and prosperity in County Monaghan.
  2. Highlight opportunities for growth in the environmental sector, including renewable energy, waste management, and sustainable tourism, supporting job creation and economic diversification.
  3. Inform strategies for promoting sustainable livelihoods and community development, enhancing the quality of life for residents by creating opportunities for meaningful employment and entrepreneurship close to home.

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